Propane leaks and burned down homes? Not here where we all reach out for our piece of the American dream… nice house, white-picket fence, 2.4 children, shiny mini-van driven by the happy wife with the home perm, the corner office at work with a pimped-out Gold Timex wrist watch just waiting for your wrist at retirement. But a propane leak had to go and ruin all that you have worked for. Perhaps Frank Sinatra had it right when he crooned about life and “riding high in April, being shot down in May.” I guess this is where Frank puts you in August.
Such was the case when a Southern California couple’s dream McMansion was completely destroyed by a propane leak that ignited a gargantuan explosion that razed the house down to the ground. Mother Nature then made an unwelcome appearance at the party, finishing off the home with a coup-de-graw in the form of an enormous fire ensuring nothing was left…
Apparently not, as a Trial Judge in San Diego laid the lion-share of the blame at the well-insured feet of SDG&E and a unidentified Plumbing Company and awarded the couple $7.12 million in damages after a hard fought trial in which the defense Lawyers were overwhelmed by the skill and tenacity of the experienced Accident Attorney in San Diego (and when Karma is on your side, I hear it is fairly hard to lose these cases).
Unfortunately, both the husband and the wife were severely injured in the explosion and subsequent fire. SDG&E was assigned to 40% of the liable for causing the “exploding McMansion,” because they apparently failed to warn the couple about the dangers of a gas leak and the importance of installing a gas leak detection alarm that would have warned them about this exact type of leak, presumably saving them from Karmic wrath unleashed by Mother Nature’s most vicious weapon. The plumbing company was found to be 30% at fault because they “nicked” the underground pipeline during routine maintenance, which is what actually caused the leak. The Insurance company for the plumbing company did the right thing and settled out before trial-which was strategically fruitful as they paid much less than they would have had to if they had participated in the trial.
Another possible reason to avoid McMansions: they can be dangerous!